NBA New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony Steps Up, Helps New York Knicks Clinch Playoff Berth

Carmelo Anthony Knicks Toronto

Tom Szczerbowski – USA Today Sports Images

Carmelo Anthony returned to the New York Knicks this past Wednesday after missing three games with a knee injury. In that game against the Orlando Magic, Anthony notched just 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds on the game. He hit 50 percent of his shots in the game, but seemed like he was still hampered by the sore knee. He seemed all of the way back on Friday night in their victory over the Toronto Raptors.

He played 10 more minutes on Friday night than he did Wednesday and seemed to no longer be slowed down by the knee. Melo also put up 37 points, six rebounds, two blocks and one steal in the contest and still shot pretty efficiently at 45.2 percent. He seemed all of the way back, but more important was the timing of Anthony’s terrific performance.

The win on Friday for the Knicks clinched a berth for them in the NBA Playoffs. Whether or not they would make the postseason has never really been in question for New York this season, but it has to be nice getting that formality out of the way. Now the Knicks can focus on how they can be successful without Amar’e Stoudemire being healthy and how they can advance in the playoffs for the first time in a long while.

Anthony rose to the occasion on Friday night when the Knicks needed him to. That was definitely nice for them to see, but it can’t be the last time that happens for them if they want to have success in the long-term. Anthony is the unquestioned leader and star for New York and he’s going to have more performances like this one in the postseason if they want to potentially win a series.

Cody Williams is a Senior NBA Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20 and like his Facebook page.